WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd
(b. 1867, Richland Center, d. 1959, Phoenix)

Armchair

1904
Painted steel, with cast-iron base and rubber casters, 96 x 63 x 55 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Wright designed a variety of metal chairs and desks for the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, New York. The client's requirement that the building be fireproof provided the impetus for Wright's use of metal. The form of the chair and the decoration of perforated squares on the back indicate Wright's likely awareness of contemporary Viennese design.

Metal office furniture was in its infancy when Wright designed this swivel chair. Metal is an extremely functional material: strong, easy to clean and fireproof. The chair, with a pivoting back, was created with the user in mind. By modern standards, however, it is far from 'ergonomic'.